30 May Believing God in the Face of Relational Difficulties
Most of us who call ourselves Christians want to be men and women of faith. Do we really understand what that means? Have we considered what it looks like and feels like to live by faith and not by sight?
I certainly cannot put myself out as an example of faith for you to emulate, but I want to share something about faith that I saw the other morning as I was reading Stephen’s historical account of the nation of Israel in Acts 7.
Abraham is often referred to as the “Father of Our Faith.” God first asked Abraham to leave his relatives, friends and possessions and go somewhere that the Lord would show him, but did not tell him ahead of time. When Abraham arrived in the land of Canaan the Lord promised to give all of that land to him and his descendants as their possession. But, Abraham was already about 75 years old with no children, and although he did live to have several children, he did not live to see his descendants possess any of the land of Canaan. Still, Abraham believed God, even in hope against hope.
We want to be people of faith yet so often we are frustrated and our prayers for deliverance multiply when we encounter obstacles or difficulties in life. What if God had immediately blessed Abraham when He brought him to the land of Canaan? What if God instantly began to give Abraham a huge family right after He promised him a son? And then God drove out all of the inhabitants of the land so that Abraham had to do nothing. Would Abraham still be known as the Father of Our Faith? I don’t think so. He would simply be known as a man that God did wonderful things for. If we are completely truthful with ourselves, that’s exactly what we would like God to do for us.
Galatians 3:29 tells us, “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” As descendants of Abraham is it reasonable that we should inherit our promises without the need for faith?
It is interesting that God chose for Abraham’s faith to be demonstrated and tested by believing in hope against hope for a son – for a family!
Are we willing to wait and believe God in the face of our relationship difficulties? When we must wait for years to find that right person to marry? When it feels impossible to like the person we vowed to love? When we are hurt again and want to be angry and pull away from relationship? When we feel like we have so little strength to give back love to the spouse, child or friend who hurt us again?
Lord strengthen us to believe in Your promises, that You will be good to us even when everything around us tells us that our world is falling apart and our hope for loving relationship will never be realized. Lord, strengthen us to become “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:12
by Barry Byrne